Silver testing

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Wolf410, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Wolf410

    Wolf410 Scout

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    Ok so this might be an odd one but a few friends and I were discussing prepping for disasters and such and we came to the topic of keeping precious metal as a form of currency in a disaster. While I would love to horde gold, that's not at all possible on my income, however silve is and this is where two questions arise

    1. Are any of ou already doing this and if so what are you doing it with?

    2. What's an easy way to tell if something is really silver and not alpaca or some other silver knock-off?
     
  2. Tundra

    Tundra Scout

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    My first post!

    Yes, lots more people are holding onto their metals than ever. A friend of mine the other day mentioned that he bought some silver "just in case". He's not that type of guy - so he's waking up.

    The easiest way to tell is to hold it - you should get familiar with silver if you intend to dabble in it. You know how a dime feels in your hand or a quarter... the same for a 1oz silver round. Also, I drop silver on a table and listen for the distinctive ring. If you hear a hollow "thud", it's a fake. Familiarize yourself with various different silver coins and rounds available in the market today.

    Stick with rounds / coins. Bars aren't as sought-after. Grains, forget it.

    However, in the short-term, don't expect silver to be too handy in crisis situations unless it's a currency crisis.
     
  3. jinya1004

    jinya1004 Scout

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    I like pre 1964 Quarters. Its the easiest for me to obtain and doesn't cost me much, usually $.25.

    They are easy to tell apart and have around 90% silver in them.

    After a while you can tell silver and gold by touching, but til you get there, look at the side of the coin, if its all a silver color, then its probally silver. If its half silver and half copper colored, its a newer coin and not worth more than $.25
     
  4. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    Coins are the easiest to find and trade or convert from what I have found over the years.

    In circulation, I have had the most luck finding 1965-1970 Kennedy half dollars which are 40% silver and still show up fairly often in rolls at the bank.

    Also it is good to remember Canadian coins from 1967 back were 90% silver like the US coins from 1964 back.

    War nickels 1942-1945 were 35% silver. Not a huge money, but today(at current spot when this post was made) they are worth $1.63 based on the silver melt value.

    coinflation.com is a great site for learning all that info too. I used to buy the art bars and various .9999 rounds often, but less lately. I learned something interesting about the art bars - some of them can be quite collectible and worth more than their silver value. I had bought a big pile of them and thought there were some really interesting ones, did a little research and found that a few were fairly valuable.

    If you buy jewelry or other silver, you might see a hallmark of .925 which identifies it as 92.5% silver also known as "sterling".

    As mentioned by others, silver has a definite feel to it that you can get good at recognizing and does sound pretty distinct too. The weight is a little different as well for coins which is why it often doesn't work for various vending machines. (I have gained a few silver quarters in trade due to that last point over the years).

    Hope that helps.
    -Mike
     
  5. cbo

    cbo Guide

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    google for the size of the coins and weight them and use calipers
    or buy from a trustworthy source

    or go to a gold/silver-buyer and try to sell them, he will test
     
  6. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    The kennedy half dollars that are 40% silver still have the copper colored band so they are the one exception to looking for "silver only" edges when roll searching.

    At spot when this post was made, they are worth $4.28 each based on silver content. Not bad :)


    -Mike
     
  7. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    Buy a test kit, know measurements and weights


    This is incorrect, if you see copper on the rim it is clad and contains no silver.
     
  8. jinya1004

    jinya1004 Scout

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    Sorry, should have specified this was for quarters. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    You probably should check into this a bit more. The copper cladding is still there, it is a smaller band and yes they are 40% silver. Tell ya what, if you don't believe me, send me your 1965-1970 kennedy half dollars and I will give you a buck each :)

    -Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  10. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    No worries, your info was right on for quarters which you did specify at the end, I just wanted to add to your good information.

    -Mike
     
  11. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    I was wrong

    but the few i have dont show any copper, any ideas on them?
     
  12. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    I have found some that have really narrow bands and some that look thicker, they aren't the most consistent looking things for sure. Content is still right, but from what I have read, it isn't that rare for some clad coins to not show the copper. Mine do, but that is just a small sample overall.

    -Mike
     
  13. Zaveral

    Zaveral Scout

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    Do Buffalo Nickels have any silver content?
     
  14. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    Nope, but they are cool :) 75% copper, 25% nickel

    -Mike
     
  15. OregonDave

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    Yup. A small stash of US 1964 or before 90% "junk" silver coins (circulated dimes, quarters and halfs) is my prep for groceries in case of hyper inflation. I do have a couple of Morgan silver dollars, but they sell at a higher premium. Looking back, I wish I'd bought dimes instead of Morgans. JMO, but I think it would be easier for me to plunk down a dime and a quarter for a head of cabbage and some spuds, then a silver dollar or a 1 oz .999 round and expect change.

    FWIW: In 1963 (Class of '65 here) the national average for gas was $0.30 per gallon. 6 90% silver quarters would purchase 5 gallons of gas. Today (last time I checked coinflation) a 1963 90% silver quarter had $5.24 worth of silver. Sell 6 of those and if gas is $4.00 a gallon (a bit high for national average right now) they would buy 7.86 gallons of gas.

    Bottom line? I do not advise anyone to buy silver, but I'm happy either way if the price goes up or down. As it goes down, I'll buy more. As it goes up, I'll hold. What I pass on may be worth very little or a lot at the time. Just depends on the bubbles.
    :33:
    OD
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  16. Grey Owl

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    Just a point of clarification. Canadian pre-67 coins are 80% silver not 90%. This does make the calculations a little more difficult if using mixed-nationality coins. The silver mass breaks down as follows:

    Silver Dollar = 0.60006 t.oz.
    Half Dollar = 0.29887 t oz
    Quarter = 0.14995 t oz
    Dime = 0.05993 t oz

    To make the calculations easy, no matter the combination of coinage, $1.00 of pre-67 Canadian coinage contains 0.60006 t oz of silver. Or at present prices, about $19.00 worth of silver.

    In my collection I also have some Australian 1966 50c pieces, and these contain 0.3415 t oz. Provides a little extra challenge when calculating values as each country had slightly different weights and % in their coinage.
     
  17. Vantramp

    Vantramp Scout

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    Thanks for that Grey Owl, I only have a few old Canadian silver coins but it is nice to know the actual amount of silver in them(I have been wrong on that for years sadly).

    What's the deal with the 50% silver coins for a year or two after? I know there were a few, but much like the US bicentennial half dollars that are sometimes 40% silver and sometimes not, it seems confusing enough not to bother with. Is there any consistency to them or easy way to know which is which that would make it worth watching for them?

    -Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  18. OregonDave

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  19. Wolf410

    Wolf410 Scout

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    Who would have though my little inquiry would have yielded such results...guys seriously thanks...this has been a ton of great info
     
  20. Bullcarver

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    Not sure if I am allowed to post this or not. I am in no way related or affiliated with this ebay seller. I have been buying Silver from this seller for a while now. My purchases always show up right at my doorstep. I also have purchased Mountain House Foods from this seller.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/qualitypreciousmetals1/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=192&rt=nc&_dmd=1
    Honest Person.

    Remember that you buy precious metals - not necessarily as an investment but, as a hedge against complete loss because Silver and Gold will always be worth something and will have value if and when the time comes when paper is worth nothing.

    Expect to pay a bit over the daily spot price. Type the word "monex" into your Google search box and that will give you a link to the daily spot prices for Gold Silver Platinum Palladium. This seller will (of course) sell above the Daily Spot for Ounces but, remember that all of his items are Free Shipping.

    This is a good time to buy Silver. Prices are pretty low right now. They may stay low for years. The S might hit the fan next week and then overnight $21 per OZ of Silver might buy $120. worth of stuff.

    At least buy some 1/10 Ounces of .999 FINE and sock some of those away even if you are on a tight budget.

    Precious Metals are PORTABLE WEALTH - You can easily carry $10,000 in Gold and Silver on your person. You cannot carry $10,000 worth of toilet paper or bullets or cans of tuna fish on your person.
    People that HAVE will always trade GOODS for Gold & Silver to the people that HAVE Gold & Silver.
    It has been that way for THOUSANDS of years.
    When traditional currency collapses Precious Metals escalate dramatically in value and become portable, transportable, barter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014

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